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E&C Republicans Continue Leadership on Autonomous Vehicles


09.23.20

Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Republican Leader Bob Latta (R-OH) released the following statement after Latta reintroduced the Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research in Vehicle Evolution, or SELF DRIVE, Act. The legislation improves the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s ability to adapt federal safety standards on autonomous vehicles (AVs) and ensure the safe development, testing, and deployment of self-driving cars.

“There is a clear global race to AVs and for the U.S. to win that race, Congress must act to create a national framework that provides developers certainty and a clear path to deployment. From increasing mobility for seniors and self-sufficiency for those with disabilities to providing contactless deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic, AVs have limitless potential to drastically improve the lives of Americans. We cannot allow the U.S. to be outpaced and this effort strikes a critical balance of ensuring safe development and deployment of AVs while keeping the U.S. at the forefront.

“Unsurprisingly, House Democrats have yet again put politics over progress. Last Congress, every single Republican and Democrat on our great committee supported AV legislation, which the House then passed unanimously.  Unfortunately, while Republicans have repeatedly tried to come to the table this Congress, Democrats have continued to put the monetary interests of the trial bar ahead of the American people. There is no reason we could not have found a bipartisan compromise that advances U.S. leadership and improves roadway safety. We hope this bill can move through the legislative process, because if we don’t write the rules of the road when it comes to AVs, China will,” said Walden and Latta.

The bill text can be found here.

Latta introduced the SELF DRIVE Act in the 115th Congress. It passed out of the Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously on July 27, 2017 and out of the House unanimously on September 6, 2017.

Earlier this year, the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee held a hearing on autonomous vehicles. Read more about how AVs are being deployed during the COVID-19 pandemic here.

Press Release